A toast to spring: 7 white wines to match the new season
Sam Wylie-Harris pulls the corks on the freshest, brightest drops to sip this spring.
Ahh, the brilliance of bright white wines, tailor made to suit this time of year, especially if you’re sitting in a sunny spot in the garden and enjoying a blast of fresh air, or catching that first glimpse of bumble bees buzzing amid the window box.
Is it hardly any wonder we get excited about springtime and dusting down the shelves, taking stock of the wine rack and making room for the freshest spring whites is the best excuse to polish up our palates.
Here’s seven spring fresh whites to sip as the sun comes out.
- M&S Soave Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy (£7, Marks & Spencer stores)
Fresh as a daisy and lightly aromatic, with hints of lemon peel and sun ripened peach, plus pretty flavours of peach, lemon and blanched almond. Unoaked with a lively fresh finish, this is a go to lunchtime white that pairs so well with shellfish and seafood.
- SPAR Bourgogne Chardonnay 2016, France (£9, SPAR stores)
A lovely surprise. A Burgundy that really tastes like Burgundy, this chardonnay
ensures the right amount of buttery creaminess and fruitiness you’d expect. But there’s plenty of acidity and minerality too, keeping it youthful with a bright honeyed note. Delicious!
- Gabriel Meffre Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2018, France (£9.99, Waitrose)
The Rhone may be best known for its reds, but this Rhone white offers bags of orchard fruit charm and beautifully balances local varieties with viognier and roussanne. This all makes for a flattering style that’s soft and round, opening up with fragrant white flowers, apricot, pear and peach flavours and a flick of citrusy freshness.
- The Huguenot Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Western Cape, South Africa (£10.49, Laithwaite’s)
Very stylish, with textbook herbal aromatics and a rush of gooseberry and green fig, topped with tangy tropical fruits and lovely concentration of citrusy freshness. This wine doesn’t scrimp on flavour and is bursting with ready to drink goodness.
- Berry Bros & Rudd Good Ordinary White 2018, Bordeaux, France (£10.95, Berry Bros & Rudd)
Walking the line between New Zealand’s bright and punchy sauvignon flavours and crispness of a Pouilly-Fume from the Loire Valley, here we have the bracing palate of a Bordeaux white with a bone dry finish. Vibrant and lively, gooseberry and grassy aromas leap from the glass, with lasting gooseberry and grapefruit zest offering crisp refreshment.
- Wm Morrison White Rioja Reserva 2016, Spain (£13, Morrisons)
In high contrast, this is a lush, rich white, with delightful baked apple, creamy vanilla and nutty notes giving it an impressive complexity. Moreish stone fruit flavours add to its appeal, ending with a fresh, tropical lift or with seafood and rice dishes.
- Momento Grenache Gris 2018, Western Cape, South Africa (£25, Armit Wines)
Something a little bit special to toast the first peep of springtime sunshine, this niche white is made from the relatively obscure grenache gris grape a cousin to grenache blanc – and makes really interesting, concentrated whites with tropical fruit flavours. With a light honeyed nose, citrus and stone fruit character with a hint of vanilla, textured palate and wonderful purity on the energetic finish, it’s class in a glass.